Historic Bipartisan Leadership Partnership Announced


ONEONTA, 12/05/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the announcement of a bipartisan partnership to govern the New York State Senate:

“Ensuring New York offers opportunities for future success – that’s what residents of the 51st senate district want and that’s what I care about.  The new bipartisan leadership coalition will produce those opportunities.

December 4, 2012

Emergency Preparations Underway For Hurricane Sandy


ONEONTA, 10/26/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on emergency preparation in advance of Hurricane Sandy following a briefing by the governor’s office:

“With Hurricane Sandy predicted to impact the region in the coming days, residents should stay informed and prepare for the potential of severe weather.  I am pleased Governor Cuomo is readying state emergency operations personnel and already the New York Power Authority and the NYCDEP are releasing water and lowering reservoir levels in Schoharie County to reduce the potential for flooding.  These precautionary measures are sensible steps that will help prepare our region in the event Hurricane Sandy strikes.

October 26, 2012

Seward, Butler Call On State DOT To Take Another Trip Down Route 28

HERKIMER, 10/25/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and Assemblyman Marc Butler (R/C/I – Newport) are continuing their appeal to New York State Department of Transportation for a thorough review of traffic safety issues on Route 28 in the Village and Town of Herkimer.

Earlier this year, Senator Seward and Assemblyman Butler brought local residents and municipal officials together to call on NYSDOT to examine traffic safety concerns along Route 28 between West German Street and Shells Bush Road.  A response from NYSDOT Interim Regional Director John Williams indicated that after a review of accident history, traffic volumes, speed, and available sight distance, a passing zone closure and speed limit reduction is not recommended.

October 25, 2012

Clothing Sales Tax Exemption - Saving Families Money

ONEONTA, 10/18/12 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today reminded shoppers they no longer pay state sales tax on clothing and footwear purchases up to $110.  

"Clothing purchases can be a big part of a family budget, and I was pleased to support this tax cut to help hardworking New Yorkers keep more money in their pockets. Repealing the state sales tax on clothing is projected to save a typical family of four nearly $200 a year," said Senator Seward.

October 18, 2012

Veterans ID Bill Signed Into Law

ONEONTA, 10/03/12 – Veterans throughout the state will be able to display their veteran status proudly on their drivers’ licenses under legislation (S.6799) signed into law today.  The new legislation was co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and inspired in part by a request from a proud serviceman from the 51st district.

“This legislation is a straightforward method that will identify veterans, who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, and help them receive special discounts at businesses statewide, ” said Senator Seward.  “Easing the ID process for veterans and businesses who want to provide our brave servicemen and women with a thank you shouldn’t be that difficult.”

October 3, 2012

Schoharie, Delaware First Responders Receive State Grants

NORTH BLENHEIM, 09/19/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) today joined representatives of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and local officials to present more than $207,000 in grants to nine first-responder organizations in Schoharie and Delaware counties to rebuild equipment and systems capabilities after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  The grants were announced in August by Governor Cuomo, among other state initiatives to aid communities affected by last summer's storms. NYPA today also issued a request for proposals (RFP) to improve cellular and wireless communications at the Blenheim-Gilboa power plant and across the Northern Catskills.

September 20, 2012

We Shall Never Forget


Dear Fellow New Yorker:

On the anniversary of September 11th, 2001, and the tragic terrorist attack on our nation, there are so many thoughts and emotions that run through my mind.

There is certainly a sense of loss and sorrow, and, there is anger at those who took cowardly aim at our nation.

Rising above all though is resilience.

Americans, and in particular, New Yorkers, have an innate ability to fight back in the face of adversity.

That horrific day, which claimed nearly 3,000 lives in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, while devastating and tragic, brought this country together like no other time before.

September 11, 2012

Cortland County Bridge Project Can Wait Until After Fall Harvest

CORTLAND, 09/05/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R/C/I – Springport) are calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to delay the start of bridge construction on State Route 281  in Homer.

“The bridge reconstruction is vital but the timing is a major obstacle,” said Senator Seward.  “Our farmers deal with enough hardships without forcing them to navigate through a major, costly detour during the busy fall harvest season.”

September 5, 2012

Senator Seward Scores Big With Business Leaders


ONEONTA, 08/22/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) has received top marks from a pair of leading business groups, the Business Council of New York State and Unshackle Upstate.

“Fostering private sector job growth, especially through the expansion of our small businesses, has been and will remain one of my top priorities,” said Senator Seward.  “I have worked hard to bring savings to our businesses by cutting government red tape, delivering meaningful tax cuts, and providing tax credits.  These initiatives, in turn, help businesses expand and mean more people are earning a paycheck.”

August 22, 2012

Cutting Government Red Tape For New York Dairy Farmers


ALBANY, 08/15/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today joined Governor Cuomo in announcing immediate steps to cut government red tape to help New York dairy farmers capitalize on the growing Greek yogurt market.

“New York’s Greek yogurt makers are using millions of pounds of milk each day and it only makes sense that they use milk from New York dairy farms,” said Senator Seward.  “In order to facilitate this, we are cutting government red tape and partnering with our farmers so they can expand and meet growing demand for dairy products.” 

August 15, 2012

Governor Advances Seward Backed College Health Insurance Program

ALBANY, 08/01/12 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is advancing a new pilot program that will allow large universities to directly provide health coverage to their students at a lower cost.

The program is the result of legislation (S.7314A) sponsored by Senator Seward signed into law last week.

August 1, 2012

Lower Cost Health Insurance For Tompkins SWCD

ONEONTA, 07/19/12 –  State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that employees with the Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District will be eligible for lower cost health insurance under legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo. 

“This new law clears the way for Tompkins County Soil and Water Conservation District employees to join the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium and take advantage of lower health insurance and prescription drug coverage,” said Senator Seward.

July 19, 2012

Governor Signs Bill Favored By Cortland County Sportsmen

ONEONTA, 07/19/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that Cortland County sportsmen and women will be allowed to use crossbows while hunting deer or bear during the regular big game season under legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo. 

“Cortland County was inadvertently left out when legislation permitting the use of a crossbow for big game hunting received approval in 2011.  This legislation rectifies the situation,” said Senator Seward.  “Local sportsmen and women, along with the Cortland County Legislature, support the change and I am pleased their request is now law.”

July 19, 2012

Law Signed Allowing Canadarago Lake To Pursue Grant Dollars


ONEONTA, 07/19/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that legislation declaring Canadarago Lake as a “major inland lake” has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  The legislation allows local officials to apply for grants under the New York State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

“Canadarago Lake presents families and sportsmen with endless recreational opportunities while boosting the local economy,” said Senator Seward.  “Providing an additional funding stream for improvements at Canadarago Lake will mean benefits for residents, tourists and area businesses.  Utilizing grant funds will also save local property taxpayers from footing the bill for any upgrades.”

July 19, 2012

Workers' Comp Rates To Drop


ONEONTA, 07/17/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the Department of Financial Services decision reducing workers’ compensation premium rates for New York employers:

“Reducing the cost of doing business in New York state has been a long held priority of mine. That’s why I helped pass the 2007 Workers’ Compensation Reform that delivered savings to employers and helped injured workers.  However, the failure by past governors to fully implement cost control measures mandated by the legislature meant the savings were short lived.  

July 17, 2012

Additional Flood Recovery Funds For 51st Senate District


ONEONTA, 07/13/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today counties within the 51st senate district will receive the lion's share of $16 million in state grants and matching funds for stream and flood restoration work to repair damage incurred during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

July 13, 2012

Local Domestic Violence Programs Receive State Grants

ALBANY, 07/05/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) announced today that local domestic violence programs would be receiving direct, unrestricted grants through the state senate.

“These community programs provide vital services for those in dire need,” said Senator Seward.  “The U.S. Surgeon General has identified domestic violence as the number one health problem affecting American women.  Providing help to vulnerable individuals, who often have nowhere else to turn, is essential.”

The funding was set aside in the 2012-2013 state budget.

Program - Funding Amount

July 5, 2012

2012 Session - Solutions & Accountability

ALBANY, 06/21/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the close of the 2012 legislative session:

“Albany is results driven once again and for that reason there were plenty of notable accomplishments during the 2012 legislative session.  We focused on solutions and accountability.

 “For a second consecutive year we passed an on-time state budget that kept spending in check, rejected new taxes and fees, funds the reconstruction of our upstate roads and bridges and funnels additional education aid to our neediest rural schools. 

June 21, 2012

Public Assistance Integrity Act Passes Senate

ALBANY, 06/19/12 – The New York State Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” to protect public assistance for welfare recipients from being used to purchase cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or for casino gambling.  Unlike Food Stamps purchases, cash assistance purchases are currently permitted under New York State law.

The legislation (S.7671), co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) would also prevent individuals receiving welfare from using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card to make ATM withdrawals from certain places, including liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs. 

June 19, 2012

Schools Ravaged By Irene & Lee Receive Special Waiver

ALBANY, 06/19/12 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today that school districts, unable to open on time last fall due to damages incurred during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, will not be penalized for lost days under legislation passed by both houses.

“Buildings at many school districts across upstate New York were under water to start the school year following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee,” said Senator Seward.  “For some, repairing, sanitizing and prepping the buildings for student use took an extended period of time.  Such extraordinary circumstances should not cost schools and their taxpayers any loss of state aid.”

June 19, 2012